Franklin County Criminal Law Casebook
Reproduced with permission from
Allen V. Adair and the Franklin County Public Defender Office
Also see OMVI.
License suspensions and violations
Registration and license plates
Reckless operation and related offenses
In re S.J.K., 114
Ohio St. 3d 23,
2007-Ohio-2621 -- Syllabus: "The imposition of points on a traffic
offender's driving record is a statutorily imposed penalty sufficient to create
a collateral disability as a result of the judgment and preserves the
justiciability of an appeal even if the offender has voluntarily satisfied the
judgment." May nullify State v. Berndt (1987), 29
Ohio St. 3d 3.
State v. Watkins, 99 Ohio St. 3d 13,
2003-Ohio-2419 -- The Traffic Rules apply to non-felony OMVI cases. ¶ 28: "Crim.
R. 11(C) sets forth how a judge should explain those rights to a defendant.
However, there are no such constitutionally mandated informational requirements
for defendants charged with misdemeanors. The protections that the Criminal
Rules provide to felony defendants should not be read into the Ohio Traffic
Rules, which deal only with misdemeanor offenses." Syllabus: "When a defendant
charged with a petty misdemeanor traffic offense pleads guilty or no contest,
the trial court complies with Traf. R. 10(D) by informing the defendant of the
information contained in Traf. R. 10(B)."
State v. Oklata, 156 Ohio App. 3d 123,
2004-Ohio-569 -- Though State v. Watkins, 99 Ohio St. 3d 13,
2003-Ohio-2419 may reduce the court's obligations in taking a no contest plea in
a traffic case, the failure to inform the defendant of the effect of his no
contest plea, as outlined in Traffic Rule 10(B)(2), requires reversal.
State v. Murray, Montgomery App. No.
2002-Ohio-4809 -- Magistrate overruled motion to suppress evidence.
Defendant's failure to file objections precludes assigning as error the court's
ruling. Nonetheless, the court reviews the record for plain error.
State v. Parker (1994), 68 Ohio St. 3d 283
-- Syllabus: "A municipality is not obligated to post signs notifying motor
vehicle operators of local traffic ordinances not in conflict with state law."
Municipal truck weight limits had not been posted in vicinity of freeway exit.
State v. Mullins (1997), 124 Ohio App. 3d
112 -- Defendant was cited for ACDA, but convicted of making an illegal turn.
Reversed as the finding amounted to an improper amendment of the complaint,
changing the name or identity of the charged crime.
State v. Boone (1995), 108 Ohio App. 3d
233, 237 -- Motorist stopped for a traffic violation pulled into a Proctor and
Gamble parking lot. Criminal trespass conviction was not supported by the
State v. Ungerer (1993), 87 Ohio App. 3d
110 -- Traffic Rule (10) does not provide for pleas of not guilty by reason of
insanity in traffic cases.
Boston Heights v. Weikle (1991), 81 Ohio
App. 3d 165 -- When the defendant arrived for trial on a speeding ticket he
learned his case was to be tried to a referee and refused to agree to this being
done. Time was not tolled for the period leading up to a trial before a judge.
State v. Daugherty (1996), 110 Ohio App.
3d 103 -- Continuance for more than one month of a speeding case because of the
court's policy in scheduling traffic cases denied appellant his right to a
State v. Grubb (1993), 82 Ohio App. 3d 187
-- Driveway giving access to the Ohio State student union was not a public
street or highway as university reserved right to prohibit or limit use of
driveway by the general public.
State v. Hammer (1992), 82 Ohio App. 3d
663, 666 -- Trial court did not err in having minor misdemeanor traffic charges
tried to the same jury hearing related vehicular homicide charge.
State v. Jackson (1992), 78 Ohio App. 3d
479 -- While the trial court had the authority to amend a uniform traffic ticket
to add the number of the statute violated, it did not have authority to amend
the ticket to name a statute other than that proscribing the conduct generally
referred to by the issuing officer in the ticket.
Toledo v. Weber (1997), 87 Ohio Misc. 2d
26 -- Mayor of Toledo charged a motorist with a stoplight violation. Held that
the mayor qualified as a "law enforcement officer" but that he improperly used
the long form complaint instead of a uniform traffic ticket.
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License suspensions and violations
State v. Crosby,
174 Ohio App. 3d 97,
2007-Ohio-6511 – Motorist was charged with driving while under an
administrative license suspension. Months later he obtained a stay of the
suspension extending back to the day it went into effect following his refusal
to take a breath test. While the municipal court had the authority to grant the
stay, it did not nullify the charge. See dissent.
Campos, 149 Ohio Misc. 2d 76,
2005-Ohio-7164 – Motorist was a resident of Ohio and a
citizen of Mexico. He was charged with driving without a license
though he presented an unexpired Mexican driver‘s license. He
was subject to the requirement that he have an Ohio license as
neither the exception in
4507.04 nor the United Nations Convention on Road Traffic
applied. However, the penalty provision does provide for these
circumstances because he did hold a valid license issued by
another jurisdiction, and he did not fall under the separate
provision made for those with expired licenses.
v. Freeman, 181 Ohio App. 3d 320,
2009-Ohio-1046 – In a driving under suspension prosecution
the jury was instructed that the defendant grabbing the wheel of
the car his wife was driving "may" constitute operation. Court
follows State v. Wallace, 166 Ohio
App. 3d 845,
2006-Ohio-2477 and finds grabbing the wheel is operation.
See dissent. Use of "may" in instruction did not amount to a
directed verdict on the element of operation.
Cleveland v. Santiago, Cuyahoga App.
2005-Ohio-108 -- Though the defendant held a Puerto Rico driver's
license, after six years in Cleveland, and absent an indication that he
travelled back and forth frequently, he needed an Ohio license.
State v. Roblero, 133 Ohio Misc. 2d 7,
2005-Ohio-4805 -- Defendant charged with no ops produced what on its face
appeared to be a current Mexico drivers license. (1) Mexico is not a signatory
to the United Nations Convention on Road Traffic, but is to the Organization of
American States Convention on Regulation of Inter-American Motor Vehicle
Traffic. (2) Proof that he has a valid foreign license is in the nature of an
affirmative defense, and the court refuses to accept mere production of the
foreign license as proof by a preponderance that the holder is validly licensed.
(3) The exception for residents of other "states" in
R.C. 4507.04 is limited to
the territories and federal districts of the United States and the provinces of
Canada. It does not include Mexico.
State v. Leuvoy, Fairfield App. No.
2004-Ohio-2232 -- Driving under suspension charge flowed from suspension
tied to failure to pay support. Court rejects substantive and procedural due
process attacks on such suspensions.
Judy v. Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, 100
Ohio St. 3d 122,
2003-Ohio-5277 -- Under former
R.C. 4511.191 the BMV could not
collect reinstatement fees for both an initial administrative license suspension
and a judicial suspension arising from the same prosecution. According to
footnote 3, the version of the statute in effect since 1998 allows collection of
a single (greater) reinstatement fee. In this class action suit, the trial court
properly ordered post-judgment interest.
Campbell v. Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles,
156 Ohio App. 3d 615,
2004-Ohio-1575 -- To appeal a license suspension based on
a judgment the license holder must strictly comply with
R.C. 119.12. The
original notice of appeal must be filed with the BMV within fifteen days. A
faxed copy is not enough.
State v. Hayes, 119 Ohio Misc. 2d 124,
2002-Ohio-4228 -- Trial court declines to find Santa Claus guilty of possessing
or displaying a state identification card knowing it to be fictitious. For
twenty years Mr. Hayes had been known to the Department of Motor Vehicles both
under his own name and as Santa Claus, and had ID cards (photo in costume) and
vehicle registrations issued to him.
State v. Anthony, 96 Ohio St. 3d 173,
2002-Ohio-4008 -- Syllabus: "In order for a driver's license to be suspended or
revoked pursuant to R.C. 4507.16(A)(1)(b), a motor vehicle must be used in the
commission of a felony. To satisfy this requirement, there must be a sufficient
nexus between the offense and the vehicle to indicate that the vehicle was
reasonably integral to the offense. (R.C. 4507.16[A][b], construed.)"
Passenger got out of back seat of a stopped car and fired shots at officer.
Chase ensued. Necessary link did not exist between vehicle and the offenses of
attempted felonious assault and weapon under a disability.
State v. Johnson, Montgomery App. No.
2004-Ohio-667 -- The offenses of operating a motor vehicle without a
driver's license and driving while under a suspension are mutually exclusive. A
defendant may not be convicted of both out of a single incident.
State v. Kinder (2000), 140 Ohio App. 3d
235 -- Applying R.C. 1.58, the defendant was entitled to the benefit of the
version of controlling statutes which went into effect shortly before the
sentencing hearing, which reduced the length of the license suspension the court
was permitted to impose. While Kinder was disapproved in State v.
Kaplowitz, 100 Ohio St. 3d 205,
2003-Ohio-5602, this was only with respect
to the incarceration aspect of the sentence. Defendants remain entitled to the
benefit of reduced license suspensions under the revised statutes.
State v. Prosser, Hamilton App. No.
2003-Ohio-5516 -- Court was without authority to modify previously
imposed mandatory lifetime license suspension under the former aggravated
vehicular homicide statute.
State v. Redman, 163 Ohio App. 3d 686,
2005-Ohio-5474 -- Under
R.C. 4507.16 as applicable for the defendant's
aggravated vehicular homicide convictions, "permanent revocation" of a license
was not subject to modification. Application of the current version of the
statute to defendant, which requires fifteen years to have passed before making
application, did not violate the ban on retroactive laws.
Burke v. Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles
(2000), 114 Ohio Misc. 2d 46 -- Failure to file a notice of appeal from a BMV
license suspension with that agency as well as the Common Pleas Court deprives
the court of subject matter jurisdiction.
State v. Stafford, 158 Ohio App. 3d
2004-Ohio-3893, ¶29-34 -- In a prosecution for vehicular homicide and
vehicular assault an Indiana license suspension is held to constitute a
suspension under Ohio law.
State v. Webb (1998), 126 Ohio App. 3d
808, 812 -- "...(W)here the state proves that the established procedure for
giving notice (of suspension) was followed, a rebuttable presumption is created
that the defendant received notice. However, the defendant can then rebut this
presumption with evidence that he did not receive notice." Instruction creating
a conclusive presumption was erroneous.
Hughes v. Ohio Department of Motor Vehicles
(1997), 79 Ohio St. 3d 305 -- Syllabus: "An Ohio resident whose driver's license
has been suspended in Ohio based upon an out-of-state conviction for driving
while under the influence of drugs or alcohol may petition for occupational
driving privileges in Ohio. Former
R.C. 4507.16 and former
4507.169 rad in
State v. Borchardt (1997), 118 Ohio App.
3d 857 -- A court may not permanently revoke a driver's license upon conviction
for vehicular homicide unless the offender was under the influence of drugs or
alcohol. Compare State v. Tardif
(2000), 139 Ohio 38, which refuses to follow Borchardt.
Warren v. Ross (1996), 116 Ohio App. 3d
275 -- Unexplained four year delay in imposing mandatory lifetime license
suspension upon conviction of vehicular homicide under the influence meant court
lost jurisdiction to do so. Also see Willoughby v. Lukehart (1987), 39
Ohio App. 3d 74.
State v. Mergy (1996), 105 Ohio App. 3d
646 -- Defendant's license was suspended on four different occasions, leading to
four DUS charges after being stopped for a single incident of driving. Held to
be allied offenses of similar import. Further found to be a double jeopardy
Columbus v. Henry (1995), 105 Ohio App. 3d
545, 550 -- "...(I)t is not a crime for an Ohio resident to drive in Columbus
without having his or her operator's license on his or her person." Thus, arrest
for "no ops" was illegal and conviction for resisting arrest as improper. Also
see State v. DiGiorgio (1996), 117 Ohio App. 3d 67.
State v. Foley (1995), 103 Ohio App. 3d
103 -- It is not a violation of
R.C. 4507.35 for a driver to fail to display his
operator's license when it is not in his possession. Such failure only
establishes a prima facie case, which may be rebutted by displaying a valid
license in court.
State v. Wilson (1995), 102 Ohio App. 3d
467 -- Cancellation of driver's license upon non payment of fine and costs upon
declaration of forfeiture issued by clerk without judicial finding, was
ineffective. Judicial duties which require an exercise of discretion or finding
of fact may not be delegated to the clerk of court though an administrative
State v. Mink (1995), 101 Ohio App. 3d 380
-- Judge suspended 17 year old's license until he could demonstrate restitution
in the amount of $74,000, then refused to reinstate license after the judgment
insurance companies had obtained in that amount was discharged in bankruptcy.
(1) Restitution order did not expand court's power to extend license suspension.
(2) Juvenile court could not lawfully suspend license past age 18. Also see
In re Eric W. (1996), 113 Ohio App. 3d 367, 372-373.
State v. Cox (1994), 98 Ohio App. 3d 318
-- Driving under an FRA suspension conviction affirmed where evidence showed
notice of suspension was sent to last known address. Also see State v. Haspic
(1991), 73 Ohio App. 3d 804. Compare Moran v. Dollinson (1981), 3 Ohio
App. 3d 121 where prior to notice being sent motorist had received a ticket
giving a more recent address than the address notice was sent to.
State v. Roberts (1980), 62 Ohio St. 2d 94
-- Syllabus: "A suspension of a driver's license for six months pursuant to
4507.40(K) terminates by operation of law upon expiration of the six-month
period." Defendant could not be convicted of driving under suspension after the
six-month period of suspension had expired, even though he had not taken the
necessary steps to have his license reinstated. Also see Columbus v. Herbert
(December 24, 1992), Franklin Co. App. Nos. 92AP-1059, 1060, unreported (1992
State v. Venham (1994), 96 Ohio App. 3d
649 -- Though initial detention of vehicle and occupants in search of a fugitive
was legitimate, continued detention and request to see license was not, once it
had been ascertained that the fugitive was no longer in the vehicle. Absent a
roadblock or other systematic policy of stopping vehicles,
R.C. 4507.35 does not
permit an officer to demand to see a license without specific and articulable
facts amounting to a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.
State v. Gilbo (1994), 96 Ohio App. 3d 332
-- (1) For purposes of the offense of driving without a valid Ohio operator's
license, driving while one's license is suspended is not a violation. (2) For
purposes of the offense of driving under suspension, knowledge of the suspension
must be established. The BMV is not required to send notice by certified mail.
Receipt of notice may be inferred where it was sent by ordinary mail and was not
State v. Rooker (1994), 93 Ohio App. 3d
154 -- Parent whose license was under suspension was not a person with a valid
driver's license for purposes of accompanying her son who had a learner's
Strickland v. Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles
(1994), 92 Ohio App. 3d 755 -- BMV suspended license under the implied consent
law. Defendant subsequently entered a conditional plea of guilty and entered a
diversion program. Written plea did not provide for it to be withdrawn if
program was not completed, but did state that plea would not be accepted and
charge would be dismissed upon successful completion. Held that the Bureau was
required to reinstate license.
Warren v. Williams (1993), 87 Ohio App. 3d
777 -- Pursuant to R.C. 4509.101(B) a trial court may only suspend a driver's
license where the offense is one of those listed in Traffic Rule 13(B) which
require an appearance in court.
Fairfield v. Fleisher (1995), 101 Ohio
App. 3d 170 -- Motorist involved in an accident was only charged with driving
with fictitious plates. (1) Proof of financial responsibility was required.
Misdemeanors may be indicted and thus qualify as traffic offenses for which a
court appearance is required. 90-day FRA suspension was proper. (2) Further
270-day suspension was not proper. Fictitious plates charge may not be related
to recklessness and motorist was not charged based on her involvement in the
State v. Krug (1993), 89 Ohio App. 3d 595
-- It was improper to suspend the operator's license of a defendant convicted of
domestic violence who in the process of the offense had driven his wife from a
convenience store to their home. (1) Suspension was not authorized under
4507.16(A)(2) allowing suspension when an auto is used in the commission of a
felony as that section only applies where an auto has been used as a weapon, to
transport contraband, or is the subject of the crime charged. The section does
not apply to mere use for transportation. (2) The suspension could not be
justified as a special condition of probation pursuant to
R.C. 2951.01(C). Also
see State v. Watkins
(1994), 96 Ohio App. 3d 195.
State v. Ward (1993), 85 Ohio App. 3d 537
-- Upon the defendant's inability to demonstrate financial responsibility at the
time of sentencing for a traffic offense, the court imposed the required 90 day
suspension, but granted occupational driving privileges, which the state
appealed. Held that the state did not have the right to appeal as a matter of
right and was required to seek leave to appeal.
State v. Haughawout (1991), 81 Ohio
App. 3d 7 -- Conviction for driving under an FRA suspension upheld even though
the defendant's license had long since expired. See dissent.
State v. Bonn (1995), 101 Ohio App. 3d 69
-- Defendant bore the burden of proof on the affirmative defense that, though
her license was under suspension, she was returning from work within the
exercise of her occupational driving privileges.
State v. Haar (1991), 81 Ohio App. 3d 244
-- The affirmative defense to the charge of driving under suspension or
restriction is limited to emergencies which exist in fact. (No precedent cited,
but court discusses the defense of necessity and its application to strict
State ex rel. Wright v. Ohio Bureau of Motor
Vehicles (1999), 87 Ohio St. 3d 184 -- Prohibition does not lie to challenge
Registrar's suspension of license and registration privileges as the statutory
scheme does not establish an exercise of judicial or quasi judicial-power.
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Registration and license plates
Wilmington v. Connor (2001), 144 Ohio App.
3d 735 -- Though a temporary tag doesn't not have to be illuminated if placed in
the back window, it does when placed in plate holder. Thus officer had a
legitimate reason to stop the car. Even if the tag didn't have to be
illuminated, as another court of appeals has held, mistake of law would not have
invalidated the stop.
State v. Held (2001), 146 Ohio App. 3d 365
-- Even though license plates are now reflective they must be illuminated. Rear
plate light may have been operative, but rear bumper was missing and plate in a
different location was not illuminated. Thus office had probable cause to stop
State v. Frazier, Mahoning App. No. 01 CA
2003-Ohio-1216 -- Recklessness, not strict liability, is the culpable mental
state for illegal plates in violation of a city ordinance comparable to
Village of New Rome v. Edwards (1994), 96
Ohio App. 3d 438 -- For purposes of obtaining commercial tags, a "commercial
car" is defined as one used to haul merchandise or freight, and does not
necessarily include a van used by a tradesman.
Cleveland v. Vincenti (1992), 84 Ohio App.
3d 568 -- It is not an offense under
R.C. 4503.30 for a salesman to use a car
with dealer tags for personal errands (driving to a nightclub in the flats).
Limitation within the statute is only with respect to commercial use.
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Reckless operation and related offenses
State v. Provino,
175 Ohio App. 3d 283,
2007-Ohio-6974 – Defendant slid off the road and into a ditch. No one was
injured and no other vehicle was involved. He left the vehicle at the scene and
was later charged with hit skip. He was found guilty on a no contest plea.
Reversed. Proffer of facts did not support conviction.
does not cover one-car accidents of this sort.
v. Nolan, 150 Ohio Misc. 2d,
2009-Ohio-1083 – The default culpable mental state of
recklessness does not necessarily displace differently defined
culpable mental states included in municipal ordinances. Here
the "reasonably prudent person" standard used in an ordinance
remains in effect and the distinction is crucial to acquittal.
State v. Morton, Montgomery App. No.
2005-Ohio-308 -- Plea to reckless in municipal court barred prosecution
for fleeing as a felony, where recklessness elevated the degree of the offense.
Also see State v. Knaff (1998), 128 Ohio App. 3d 90; State v. Morton
(April 30, 1999), Hamilton App. No. C-980391.
State v. Lovell, 157 Ohio App. 3d 227,
2004-Ohio-2617 -- Failure to control (R.C. 4511.202) is not a lesser included
offense to reckless operation (R.C. 4511.20).
State v. Larbus, 160 Ohio App. 3d 286,
2005-Ohio-1695 -- The failure to post a warning sign for a curve, and to
properly post a no outlet sign, is not a defense to failure to control. The
posting of a sign is not an element of
In re Jon J. (2001), 144 Ohio App. 3d 572
-- Ordinance prohibited squealing tires on acceleration. Evidence was
insufficient to support conviction where 17-year old said the tires of his
Corvette squealed as he decelerated while turning into school parking lot.
State v. Preston (2001), 142 Ohio App. 3d
619 -- Street racing conviction not supported by the evidence where motorist
apparently hoped to keep driver in merging lane from cutting in front of her,
but did not have a competitive intent.
State v. Knaff (1998), 128 Ohio App. 3d 90
-- Defendant pleaded guilty to reckless operation, but before a "finding" was
made, the prosecutor moved to dismiss in light of a pending indictment for
fleeing. Jeopardy attacked at the time the plea was entered. Furthermore,
applying Blockburger, prosecution for the greater offense was barred.
Cleveland v. Isaacs (1993), 91 Ohio App.
3d 360 -- (1) Weaving while using a cellular phone was sufficient to establish
violation of a municipal ordinance proscribing operation without giving full
time and attention to doing so. (2) Ordinance found to be neither vague nor in
conflict with R.C. 4511.202 which requires "reasonable control."
State v. Leichty (1993), 68 Ohio St. 3d 37
-- Syllabus: "When an oversize vehicle, lawfully on the road pursuant to
5577.05, is too wide to be operated entirely to the right of the center line and
therefore necessarily extends into the left lane, the roadway is not a roadway
'of sufficient width' for purposes of
R.C. 4511.25 (driving left of center)"
Elyria v. Heberbrand (1993), 85 Ohio App.
3d 141 -- ACDA conviction upheld, where the defendant's speed resulted in
collision with a car pulling into a turn lane ahead of him.
Warren v. Williams (1993), 87 Ohio App. 3d
777 -- A court may not suspend a driver's license upon conviction for failure to
stop within the assured clear distance.
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State v. Tobin,
147 Ohio Misc. 2d 108,
2008-Ohio-3466 – Default speed limit on road approaching the entrance to a
four lane highway was 25. The Highway Patrol used a nearby place on the shoulder
to look for minor traffic offenses, such as speeding, hoping to bag drunk
drivers in the early morning hours. Defendant was clocked at 32 and charged with
speeding. Describing the uses to which property along the road approaching the
highway was used, the court concludes the Ohio Manual of Uniform Traffic Control
Devices calls for a sign in this stretch of road to remind users the limit is
still 25. The defendant not having been given fair notice, the court concludes
32 was not unreasonable for the conditions.
Mott, 179 Ohio App. 3d 312,
2008-Ohio-5817 – Motorist was convicted of driving too fast
for conditions because he drove 41 mph passing a highway patrol
officer who was driving at 30 on a snow covered highway.
Affirmed, supposedly based on motorist‘s testimony he had been
driving 35 before he fell in behind the officer.
Bellville v. Kieffaber,
114 Ohio St. 3d 124,
2007-Ohio-3763 -- Syllabus: "A citation for speeding that contains notice of
both the prima facie offense and the basic facts supporting the charge includes
all the necessary elements of the offense even if the citation does not allege
that the speed is unreasonable for existing conditions. The driver may rebut or
negate the prima facie case with evidence that the speed was neither excessive
nor unreasonable. (Cleveland v. Keah (1952), 157
Ohio St. 331...approved and followed.)"
State v. Huth (1999), 133 Ohio App. 3d 261
-- Left lane bandit on the Ohio Turnpike travelling at 60-65 was convicted of
improper left lane use in violation of
R.C. 4511.25. Statute rests on the normal
speed of traffic, not the posted speed limit. Defendant caused traffic to back
up behind her instead of pulling into unused right lane.
Cincinnati v. Levine,158 Ohio App. 3d
2004-Ohio-5992 -- A court may not take judicial notice of the reliability
of a speed measuring device based on demonstration of reliability in other
jurisdictions. At least once there must be testimony in a court of the county
that the device is reliable. Only after that has been done is judicial possible.
Shaker Heights v. Coustilac (2001), 141
Ohio App. 3d 349 -- (1) Defendant first attacked judicial notice of the
reliability of a laser device in a post-trial brief. Error waived. (2) Officer
did not perform two tests in the operator's manual, but he performed the
alternative to the first test and the second was not required on a daily basis.
(3) Defendant telling the officer he thought he was only going 70 is enough to
sustain a conviction for speeding in a 60 mph zone.
New Middleton v. Yeager, Mahoning App.
No. 03 MA 104,
2004-Ohio-1549 -- Speeding conviction was not supported by the
evidence. Radar device was not identified. Thus the court could not take
judicial notice of its reliability. Nor was there testimony concerning its
reliability or that the officer had been trained in its use.
State v. Adkins, Washington App. No.
03CA58 -- Semi driver was charged with speeding after being clocked at 65 on the
freeway. State failed to introduce any evidence the truck weighed in excess of
8,000 pounds. Reversed. Evidence was insufficient. Weight was beyond common
Trotwood v. Selz (2000), 139 Ohio App. 3d
947 -- Bicyclist held up traffic by riding in the middle of his lane uphill at
about fifteen miles per hour. Conviction under an slow speed impeding traffic
ordinance reversed. Evidence might have warranted conviction under a statute
requiring bicyclists to ride as close as possible to the right edge of the road.
State v. Oglesby, Seneca App. No.
2003-Ohio-867 -- Defendant charged with driving 44 in a 35 zone was
pulled over at the sign increasing the speed limit to 45. Though he had a
defense based on the 35 limit being only prima facie, the court did not have to
accept his claim that his speed was reasonable.
State v. Chaney (1998), 128 Ohio App. 3d
100 -- Truck driver was convicted of M-3 speeding, based on two prior
convictions. Noting the difficulty of following
R.C. 2945.75 when tickets have
been resolved without a court appearance, the court finds printouts and a
trooper's testimony concerning identifying information on the tickets to be
sufficient. See dissent.
Linndale v. State (1999), 85 Ohio St. 3d
52 -- Statute barring municipalities with less that 880 yards of interstate from
enforcing their weight and speeding ordinances on the highway found not to be a
general law as it purports only to limit the constitutional authority of
municipalities to so regulate.
Cleveland Heights v. Wood (1995), 107 Ohio
App. 3d 616 -- Municipal ordinance elevating minor misdemeanor speeding under
the Revised Code to a fourth degree misdemeanor held to be within the
municipality's home rule authority and not in conflict with general laws under
Article XVIII, Section 3 of the Ohio Constitution.
State v. Pessefall (1993), 87 Ohio App. 3d
222 -- (1) Where the defendant was going 70 in a 55 zone on a divided highway
with light traffic, it was an abuse of discretion to relate the speeding
violation to reckless operation (pursuant to
R.C. 4507.34) and impose a license
suspension. (2) Generally worded requirement that the defendant obtain and use a
speed control device was improperly imposed as a condition of probation.
State v. Wilson (1995), 102 Ohio App. 3d
1, 4 -- If officer's visual observation indicated speeding, appellate court will
not reverse on sufficiency of the evidence even if there was a failure to prove
radar device was properly calibrated. Also see Kirtland Hills v. Logan
(1984), 21 Ohio App. 3d 67, 69; State v. Ferrier (1995), 105 Ohio App. 3d
124 (inexperienced operator).
In re Zindle (1995), 107 Ohio App. 3d 342
-- Measured speed of 55 in a posted 35 zone was prima facie evidence of
speeding, which with additional evidence supported speeding conviction.
Mantua v. Marsillo (1996), 110 Ohio App.
3d 227 -- Violation of 25 mph business district speed limit upheld upon finding
more than 50% of frontage was occupied by businesses, including industries, and
uninhabited side road formed intersection.
Xenia v. Boehman (1996), 114 Ohio App. 3d
78 -- Acting judge improperly restricted
pro se defendant's cross-examination of arresting officer going to
qualification to operate radar device and recollection of the incident, area,
and activity preceding the traffic stop.
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State v. Kilgore,
175 Ohio App. 3d 665,
2008-Ohio-1162 – Defendant was convicted of violating a municipal ordinance
making it an offense to disobey a traffic control device. Officer testified the
defendant was driving the wrong way on a one-way street, but did not testify
regarding the sign designating the street as one-way. Reversed. The existence of
the device is an essential element. In overruling the defendant‘s Rule 29(A)
motion the judge improperly took judicial notice of the officer‘s notes on the
back of the citation indicating a sign was visible. A citation is a charging
document and not evidence.
Hageman, 180 Ohio App. 3d 640,
2009-Ohio-169 – Officer claimed defendant make an improper
left turn because he entered the curb lane rather than the lane
closest to the center line.
4511.36 and an equivalent municipal ordinance seemingly do
not bar turning into the curb lane, but, in any event, apply
only to "intersections." Officer was not sure whether the
defendant made the turn from a cross street or a bowling alley.
The exit from a parking lot is not an intersection within the
4511.01(KK). Thus the officer did not have a reasonable
basis for the stop.
Bowling Green v. Godwin, 110 Ohio St.
2006-Ohio-3563 -- Syllabus: "A law enforcement officer who personally
observes a driver disregard a traffic-control device that complies with the Ohio
Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices may have probable cause under the
totality of the circumstances to stop the driver, even though the device was not
installed in compliance with a local ordinance requiring approval of city
council for the installation of traffic-control devices." But a person may not
be convicted of violating an unauthorized sign.
State ex rel. Scott v. Cleveland, 106
Ohio App. 3d 293,
2006-Ohio-2062 -- Citizens sought a writ of prohibition baring
automated red light and speeding enforcement. Claims are summarized but the
parties are faulted for not providing the court with "clearly controlling
State v. Huston, Franklin App. No.
2004-Ohio-6069 -- Pedestrian struck crossing the road to avoid a
drainage ditch was properly convicted of pedestrian walking along roadway based
on motorist's testimony she had to apply her brakes. Joggers beware.
Cleveland v. Santiago, Cuyahoga App.
2005-Ohio-108 -- A handicapped zone includes the entire area marked
off. The defendant parked outside the designated parking spaces in an area
marked by yellow stripes.
State v. Redd, Montgomery App. No.
2004-Ohio-4689 -- Failure to comply with the order of a police officer
conviction reversed where defendant remained in a legally parked car watching
completion of a friend's arrest for OMVI. The officer may have been annoyed by
the defendant's present, but his command to leave was not predicated his
authority to direct, control or regulate traffic.
State v. Smith, 156 Ohio App. 3d 238,
2004-Ohio-791 -- A motorist must use signals even when making a turn from a turn
only lane. Failure to do so validated stop and resulting OMVI charge.
Monroeville v. Wheeling and Lake Erie Railway
Company, 152 Ohio App. 3d 24,
R.C. 5589.21 construed to
require complete blockage of railway crossings. Gates remained down as a
fail-safe protection when equipment malfunctioned. Because officer was able to
direct traffic through the crossing, blockage was not complete.
Columbus v. Sharaf, 149 Ohio App. 3d 171,
2002-Ohio-4502 -- Red light violation not proven where officer only testified
that the defendant was still in the intersection when the light turned green for
traffic proceeding on the cross street. A motorist may lawfully enter an
intersection on yellow and complete his turn after the light has changed to red
for traffic proceeding from his direction.
City of Hubbard v. Luchansky (1995), 102
Ohio App. 3d 410 -- When a light turns red, the obligation to stop and not enter
an intersection begins instantaneously.
State v. Brewer (1994), 96 Ohio App. 3d
413 -- Recklessness and not strict liability, is the culpable mental state for
failure to obey the order of a traffic officer,
R.C. 2921.331(A). Highway Patrol
officer arrested medic who refused to move ambulance at wreck location because
it would interfere with medical assistance.
Maple Heights v. Smith (1999), 131 Ohio
App. 3d 406 -- A municipality may not enforce a traffic control devise,
specifically a no left turn sign, not in compliance with the Ohio Manual for
Uniform Traffic Control Devices. Also see Bowling Green v. McNamara
(1999), 132 Ohio App. 3d 240 (underheight stop sign); Lyndhurst v. McGinness
(2000), 138 Ohio App. 3d 617 (no turn on red sign).
State v. Grubb (1993), 82 Ohio App. 3d 187
-- (1) No left turn sign posted on university property by university employees
without obtaining proper authorization from the city of Columbus, and not
conforming to other requirements, was unenforceable. (2) Even if the sign were
valid, it could not be enforced by university police as High Street, onto which
turn would have to be made, was not within their territorial jurisdiction.
Cincinnati v. Evers (1993), 63 Ohio Misc.
2d 220 -- Illegal left turn charge dismissed where second sign had not been
posted to the right side of the intersection as required by the Ohio Manual of
Uniform Traffic Control Devices.
State v. Lowman (1992), 82 Ohio App. 3d
831 -- Two out of three judges believe defendant was required to use turn signal
entering freeway from rest area even though there was no oncoming traffic. See
Warren v. Granitto (1994), 93 Ohio App. 3d
723 -- Parking ticket form found fatally defective for: (1) failure to state
address or telephone number of issuing authority; (2) failure to state how and
where to appear to pay or contest the ticket; and (3) providing only a single
signature line purporting to apply to both the entry of a not guilty plea and
waiver of speedy trial.
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State v. Thompson (1999), 135 Ohio App. 3d
164 -- State failed to prove vehicle overload violation. (1) State proved only
one of the 20 portable scales used to weight truck was sealed as required. (2)
Description of bulging tires was insufficient to prove vehicle was equipped with
State v. Harrington, 159 Ohio App. 3d
2004-Ohio-7140 -- Since the formulas for determining maximum vehicle weight
are not based on tire width, it was not an abuse of discretion to exclude
evidence proffered by the defendant as to the width of his tires.
State v. Taylor (1996), 114 Ohio App. 3d
416 -- Car was stopped because of excessive window tint.
R.C. 4513.02(E) allowed
officer to order car removed from the road, but did not authorize impoundment.
Because vehicle was not lawfully impounded, inventory search yielding a gun was
Kirtland Hills v. Garcia (1994), 96 Ohio
App. 3d 99 -- Ordinance prohibiting use of flashing lights on most vehicles did
not apply to motorist who flashed his headlights as a signal to others.
Toledo v. Wacenske (1994), 95 Ohio App. 3d
282 -- Municipality may make motorcycle headlight law a strict liability
Trotwood v. Sampson (1993), 63 Ohio Misc.
2d 504 -- Purple neon license plate surround is lawful provided the plate is
still illuminated by standard white lights and is visible at fifty feet.
Toledo v. Harris (1994), 99 Ohio App. 3d
469 -- Bulging tires and strained acceleration justified investigative stop of
truck for weight violation.
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State v. Platfoot,
183 Ohio App. 3d 349,
2009-Ohio-3769 – Failure to stop after an accident conviction is not against
the manifest weight of the evidence where the defendant did not pull over
immediately after an accident in a freeway construction zone, instead waiting
until the end of his work day to call the police. Other driver took the second
exit south of the accident scene and called the police.
Fairbanks, 1187 Ohio St. 3d 543,
2008-Ohio-1470 – Defendant pled guilty to reckless operation
and later interposed that as the basis for a double jeopardy
claim when facing prosecution for fleeing with a risk of serious
physical harm specification. Majority concludes addition of the
specification does not render the two charges alike for double
jeopardy purposes. Dissent finds the specification is an element
and a bar should exist.
State v. Donkers,
170 Ohio App. 3d 509,
2007-Ohio-1557 -- Mother was pulled over while driving and breast-feeding on
the Ohio Turnpike. Car had Michigan plates and she had a bogus Pennsylvania ID
card and a defective Michigan license. According to her religious beliefs, he
husband was the proper defendant, and she was required to follow his
instructions. (1) Initial appearance procedure was faulty. Even if the judge did
use a video advisement, its contents are not of record, the defendant appears to
have been otherwise occupied when it would have been played, and there were no
indicia rights were understood. (2) Ohio's child restraint law is limited to
vehicles registered in this state. The affirmative defense provided in the
statute for non-residents based on the laws of their state of domicile is thus
irrelevant, unless the defendant is driving an Ohio-registered car. (3) Failure
to prove the defendant's license had expired more than six months ago made the
offense a minor misdemeanor. (4) Despite the eccentricities and religious
beliefs of the defendant, fleeing conviction stands.
State v. Hoy, Franklin App. No. 02AP-1197,
2003-Ohio-3117 -- Hit skip conviction was not supported by the evidence. There
are two means of complying with
R.C. 4549.021: (1) exchange of information at
the scene, (2) providing information to the police within 24 hours. Defendant
did both. He stopped, told the other party where he worked and made no effort to
conceal the employee name badge he was wearing. Other party did not demand
license and there is no requirement insurance carrier be identified. Defendant
also acknowledged the accident when contacted by the police within the 24-hour
Newburgh Heights v. Halasah (1999), 133
Ohio App. 3d 640 -- Seat belt law violation not proven where officer testified
defendant was not wearing belt when he approached stopped vehicle, but did not
testify he observed operating the vehicle unbelted. Also see State v.
Harrison, 161 Ohio App. 3d 573,
State v. Kuczak (2000), 139 Ohio App. 3d
468 -- In a prosecution for unsafe operation of an aircraft,
R.C. 4561.15 makes
the state Department of Transportation the exclusive representative of the
state. Local prosecutor was without authority to pursue charge.
State v. Karle (2001), 144 Ohio App. 3d
125 -- Motorist complained of defendant's menacing conduct to officer. Officer
ordered defendant to pull into adjacent parking lot. Defendant refused, and
drove off. Failure to obey a lawful order conviction affirmed.
State v. Hendrix (2001), 144 Ohio App. 3d
328 -- Though the court is somewhat sympathetic, constitutional attack on loud
car stereo ordinance fails. Absent a First Amendment claim, defendant lacked
standing to mount a facial challenge. Nor was the ordinance shown to be
unconstitutionally vague as applied to the facts of the case.
State v. Gover, 127 Ohio Misc. 2d 82,
2004-Ohio-1343 -- To prove wrongful entrustment in violation of
R.C. 4507.33 the
state need not prove the operator had no legal right to drive. The defendant's
admission she believed the operator had no right to drive is sufficient for
State v. Hill, Hamilton App. No.
2004-Ohio-2275, ¶8 -- Although "wilfully" as used in the fleeing statute
is not a culpable mental state defined by
R.C. 2901.22, it is the equivalent of
v. El-Hayek, 142 Ohio Misc. 2d 129,
2006-Ohio-7320 -- Kid riding a gas powered scooter on a
sidewalk was struck. Motorist was charged with failure to yield
to a pedestrian. "Pedestrian" may include those in wheelchairs,
riding bicycles, and maybe using Segways but does not include
gas scooters. In any event, the kid saw the car but rode in
front of it anyway.
Short, 172 Ohio App. 3d 83,
2007-Ohio-3166 -- Deficiencies in a parking ticket based on
the requirements of
4521.02 regarding decriminalized parking violations don't
matter when a town has not decriminalized such infractions.
State v. Nagle (1995), 105 Ohio App. 3d 80
-- A hit skip conviction may not be expunged.
R.C. 2953.36 states: "Sections
2953.35 of the Revised Code do not apply to convictions...under
4549. of the Revised Code."
State v. Bruce (1994), 95 Ohio App. 3d 169
-- Failure to provide proof of financial responsibility in violation of
4509.101 is not a minor misdemeanor. Instead it is a civil statute with a
license suspension as the only penalty.
Chillicothe v. Chaney (1996), 79 Ohio
Misc. 2d 59 -- Head start bus did not qualify as school bus within the scope of
municipal ordinances as it did not carry more than fifteen children.
Tiffin v. McEwen (1998), 130 Ohio App. 3d
527 -- Ordinance banning loud music in cars held an appropriate exercise under
the Home Rule Amendment of the Ohio Constitution.
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